Vocabulary 20 - Suffixes 2
Prefixes and suffixes are vital components of the English language. While a prefix is a group of letters that is added to a word before
a base word to form a new word, the suffix is a group of letters that is added after
a base word to form a new word.
There are dozens of suffixes that can be used along with base or root words to give us new words. Generally, suffixes have some meaning associated to the grouping of letters and these meanings have an influence on the new word formed.
is a word formed by adding the suffix ess
. The suffix ess
denotes the female form so a lioness
is a female lion. Some other words formed with the same suffix are heiress
(a female heir) and actress
(a female actor).
Another example would be the word athletic which is formed by adding etic to the word athlete with some modification. The suffix etic means in relation to or to do with, so athletic means to do with athletes. Some other words formed with the same suffix are poetic (relating to poetry) and prophetic (relating to prophecy).
Different suffixes can be added to the same word to form different words with variations in meanings. For instance, Argued, Arguer, Argues, Arguably and Argument are all words formed by using different suffixes with the same word, argue.
Among the single letter suffixes the letter Y is often used and it means made up of. Suffixes give us the flexibility of using root words in their different avatars to help us to express ourselves better. Constant use of words with different suffixes would enlarge our vocabulary and give us a wider choice of words to communicate more effectively. Take the quiz that follows and learn about the different suffixes that are in use and their meanings.